State v. Faulk, 200 N.C. App. 118 (Sept. 15, 2009)

In a case charging offenses under G.S. 14-27.7A (statutory rape or sexual offense of person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old), the court held that the trial judge misapplied the “birthday rule” (a person reaches a certain age on his or her birthday and remains that age until his or her next birthday) to the calculation of the age difference between the defendant and the victim. The defendant’s and victim’s ages at the time in question were 19 years, 7 months, and 5 days and 15 years, 2 months, and 8 days respectively. Applying the birthday rule, the trial court concluded that the defendant was 19 at the time in question and that the victim was 15, making the age difference 4 years, when the relevant statute required it to be more than 4 years. The appellate court concluded that the statutory element of more than 4 years but less than 6 years means 4 years 0 days to 6 years 0 days, “or anywhere in the range of 1460 days to 2190 days.”